July 19, 2021

Should marketers use the term LatinX? It depends.

In my line of work, I often am the expert when it comes to outreach to Hispanic audiences. Because of the variety of labels that can apply to Hispanic folks, I’m often asked which one to use and for who. The short answer is that it depends on the audience and context. Take a look below for my data-driven take on Hispanic terminology.

Should Marketers Use the Term “LatinX”?

It depends. As a Latina business owner who works with hispanic-focused clients, I’m often asked my opinion about the term “LatinX”. While I agree that including all genders when speaking of entire demographics is important, I always point my clients to the data. Data on the subject indicates that most hispanic/latino/latina folks don’t identify with the term or use it themselves. According to the Pew Research Center in 2020, only 4% of Hispanics prefer to use the term to identify themselves. In fact, 76% of Hispanic adults haven’t even heard of the term. Most Hispanics prefer to use the term “Hispanic” followed by “Latina/Latino”, their country of origin, American, and then LatinX or other. We’ve validated this fact in several research projects we’ve led this year for national clients focusing on Hispanic adults 25+ and LGBTQ+ Hispanic folks. That is not to say that there aren’t appropriate uses for the term “LatinX”. In academic or LGBTQ+ circles, the term is much more popular because of its gender inclusive nature. LatinX indicates not only the inclusion of men and women, but also people with nonbinary gender identities. Additionally, of the folks who do use the term, most of them identify as women and are people under 30. If you’re producing an official academic communication, marketing to LGBTQ+ individuals, or Gen Z, you may gain more traction with the term. However, when attempting to reach Hispanics in general, our recommendation based on the data is to use the term “Hispanic”. Not only do people of all ages identify with it, it is also gender inclusive! If your organization is looking to most effectively and meaningfully communicate with the Hispanic community, please don’t hesitate to contact the Strategar team.


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